Luke Walton has just been named the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and it’s sending ripples throughout the rest of the NBA.
From the Lakers’ perspective, this is the right choice. Not only are they the franchise that originally drafted Walton as a player, but few epitomize what it means to be apart of a winning culture quite like Walton.
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He won multiple championships with the Lakers as a player, and was a key component of Steve Kerr’s coaching staff during last season’s championship run for the Golden State Warriors.
So much was thought of Walton’s knowledge of the game and communication skills that he was named as the interim coach for the Warriors during Kerr’s recovery from back surgery to open the season. Under the leadership of Walton, the Warriors opened the season 39-4.
The other main candidate for this Lakers’ job was San Antonio Spurs’ assistant coach Ettore Messina, who also sported an impressive record in the basketball world. Messina has been on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio since 2014. Prior to that, he had been a head coach in Europe, winning the Euroleague Championship 4 times.
Both candidates were deserving, but the Lakers couldn’t go wrong with Walton. He’s got a brilliant basketball mind and personifies what the Lakers are all about.
Los Angeles has fallen on hard times recently, and this is their best bet to transition from the Kobe Bryant era with the most grace possible.
With Walton’s remarkable performance coaching the Warriors earlier this season, he was likely going to be flooded with head coaching offers from teams with vacancies. It looks like he made the right decision for himself, as he’ll be crowned a hero in L.A. if he can help return the prestigious franchise to prominence.